How do I configure Ubutnu Linux to use open source driver for fingerprint reader (UPEK/SGS Thomson Microelectronics fingerprint
reader [USB ID 0483:2016]) on IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad, Dell and Toshiba laptops?

You can use ThinkFinger driver for the UPEK/SGS Thomson Microelectronics fingerprint reader. [donotprint]
Tutorial details
Difficulty Easy (rss)
Root privileges Yes
Requirements None
Time 10m
[/donotprint]The device is being found either as a standalone USB device, built into USB keyboards or built into laptops. ThinkFinger is devided into two parts: libthinkfinger and pam_thinkfinger. libthinkfinger is a library to be used in order to communicate with the fingerprint reader.

To fingerprint reader driver on ThinkPad/Dell/Toshiba from a shell prompt:

  1. Open the Terminal app and visit the site thinkfinger.sourceforge.net to grab the driver.
  2. Type the following wget command $ cd /tmp
    $ wget -O file.tar.gz 'http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/thinkfinger/thinkfinger/ThinkFinger%200.3/thinkfinger-0.3.tar.gz?r=&ts=1431928921&use_mirror=softlayer-sng'
  3. Extract the tar ball, type:
    $ tar xvf file.tar.gz
  4. Compile the driver:
    $ cd thinkfinger-*
    $ ./configure --with-securedir-/lib/security --with-birdir-/etc/pam_thinkfinger
    $ make
    $ sudo make install
    $ sudo mkdir /etc/pam_thinkfinger
  5. Test the reader:
    $ sudo tf-tool --acquire
    $ sudo tf-tool --verify
  6. Finally, configure PAM as follows:
    $ sudo cp /etc/pam.d/common-auth /root/
    $ sudo vi /etc/pam.d/common-auth

    Append the following:
    auth sufficient pam_thinkfinger.so
    auth required pam_unix.so nullok_secure try_first_pass
  7. Now, add your fingerprints for auth, enter:
    $ sudo tf-tool --add-user
  8. Verify the reader using the following command:
    $ sudo ls

For more info see Readme and Install guide.


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